Update from the Government on the closure of night shelters in response to COVID-19.
Closure of night shelters in response to COVID-19
On 3 July, Government advised that all nightshelters offering accommodation in communal settings should remain closed.
Many of our members have been in touch over the recent weeks asking for clarity on whether nightshelters can plan for reopening as lockdown restrictions ease. This latest communication confirms that the position of MHCLG has not changed and the original request to close communal sleeping settings due to the health risks they present remains:
'The Government appreciates the huge contribution that night shelter providers make in supporting some of the most vulnerable people. However, public safety and ensuring the virus does not spread remains our top priority. Government advice therefore continues to be that all communal night shelters should remain closed at the present time.'
Work is ongoing between the MHCLG, PHE and Homeless Link on the issue of COVID-19 transmission in communal accommodation settings, including night shelters, and we expect further guidance to be issued in the coming weeks.